If you were among those hoping for a Nick Diaz/Khamzat Chimaev dual-return bout, wait no more because it’s not happening.
This news coming from Diaz’s manager, Kevin Mubenga, who informed ESPN that Chimaev is not being considered for Diaz’s return bout. Following last week’s UFC 261 event, there were rumblings of a potential fight between Diaz and Chimaev after Dana White expressed openness to putting that fight together. Chimaev then threw gasoline on those talks by challenging Diaz to a gangster-off inside the Octagon. Perhaps Chimaev will consider this a victory according to street rules and classify this as a case of the Stockton legend backing down. According to Diaz’s manager, it’s more a case of wanting to fight someone who is more worthy.
“He’s a good prospect, respectfully, but he hasn’t earned the right to a mega-fight vs. Nick Diaz,” Mubenga’s statement reads. “So let’s put those rumors to rest. Nate’s up first, our focus is on that. We will narrow down more deserving opponents after the fight.”
Mubenga is referring to Nate Diaz‘s upcoming fight against Leon Edwards which is taking place two weeks from today at UFC 262. Once that bout is over, perhaps we will begin to learn more about who is being considered to face the elder of the Diaz bros.
Nick Diaz has not competed since 2015 and is 37 years old. Even with his lengthy layoff, he still has one of the most recognized and respected names in the game, so he is expected to have his pick of the litter when selecting his first opponent in six years. It was Diaz who accosted Dana White about returning in the first place, and whenever it’s a Diaz approaching the brass about fighting instead of the other way around, it takes on a new level of likelihood that a deal will get done.
Another option for Nick Diaz is Jorge Masvidal, who also challenged Diaz to a fight by providing him with an opportunity to avenge his younger brother Nate, who Masvidal battered in the UFC 244 main event in November 2019.
Who would you like to see Nick Diaz fight in his UFC return?